Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware. You will learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview experience. If learning and interview tips from our people interest you, we invite you to read on.
This week we want you to meet Shannon Douglas who is based out of our Austin, Texas workplace. Shannon joined VMware in September 2013 as a Senior Inside Sales Representative. Since then Shannon has progressed his career and is now a Senior Inside Sales Manager for our EUC (End-User Computing) business unit. Shannon is also a member of VMware’s Black@VMware POD (Power of Difference). Want to learn more about Shannon? Read on!
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date.
Shannon Douglas: I’ve been selling Information Technology for twelve years and I’ve been with VMware for almost six of those. Before VMware, I was a Software Solutions Rep at Dell. I specialized in third party software licensing, primarily VMware and Microsoft so I have been on this journey of selling VMware since 2010. It’s interesting to look back and reflect on how much our capabilities have evolved over time.
I started as an Inside Sales Rep at VMware in 2013. This was my first exposure to public sector customers. Working with them presents some unique challenges, however, being a small part of their important work is very rewarding. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the evolution of Inside Sales here. I take a lot of pride in the fact that we are truly capable of helping our customers solve their business challenges.
I have always had an interest in leadership. There are some great leaders in my family that I’ve tried to emulate. I was very excited about the opportunity to join the End User Computing team as a Sales Manager in 2017. I had not sold much outside of the datacenter and I was not very familiar with Software As A Service (SaaS) before accepting the position. To say I have learned a lot over the past few years is an understatement!
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for?
Shannon Douglas: I was immediately impressed with the vibrant high-performance culture at VMware. I have met many of the most intelligent and driven people that I have encountered in my career here. I’ve always felt that there is no limit to the opportunity here. I’ve seen many people achieve their careers goals at this company over the years.
What really separates VMware is the commitment to the company’s values. I have been more active in the community at VMware than at any other point in my career. I also believe that at an executive level VMware is truly committed to supporting diversity and inclusion. The end goal is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and has a collective contribution appreciated. This doesn’t mean we are perfect, but it is clear to me that the company is pursuing this ideal as vigorously as the next technological advancement. Inclusion is just as important as diversity. I believe that’s why we have Power of Difference groups (POD’S). POD’s are an avenue to celebrate our differences and learn about each other. This understanding strengthens our connection to one another as people. That is why it is so important that anybody can be a member of any POD. I am a proud member of the Black@VMware POD. It is an honor to do my part to help build a community where everyone feels engaged and supported.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Shannon Douglas: I’ll give you two: When I’m interacting with my colleagues, I try not to have tunnel vision for just accomplishing today’s goal, I know that I have a long career ahead of me and it’s very likely that I will work with this person again. People don’t always remember the details of the projects that you worked on with them. They will remember that it was a pleasure to work with you and that you were a resource for them when they needed help. They will take these impressions with them on their career journey and when they are in a position to assist you or advocate for you, they will.
Find a leader who cares about you and sees the potential in you before you see it in yourself. The right leader can be a critical component to your success. When a leader is truly invested in you, they will coach and develop you. They will have tough conversations with you instead of just telling you what you want to hear or providing no feedback at all. They will also become your strongest advocate.
VMware Careers: Your team is hiring. Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?
Shannon Douglas: Our charter in End User Computing Inside Sales has two essential components:
We are Subject Matter Experts in VMware’s End-User Computing story. Simply put, we need people who can listen to our customers’ challenges and recommend the appropriate solution to help them achieve their goals. If you have a demonstrated track record of success doing so, then please apply.
Our organization also focuses on developing future talent, not just for the End User Computing Sales organization but for the company. For me, the most gratifying part of leadership is having the opportunity to help people achieve the next step in their career. To that end, I have recently become involved in the VMware Academy program for recent graduates. This is a can’t miss opportunity to start your career.
VMware Careers: If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow for a role in your org, what advice would you share with them?
Shannon Douglas: Be specific and intentional with your answers. Remember that a hiring manager is primarily attempting to mitigate the risk of making the wrong hire. The more clearly, they can visualize you achieving success in the role the more likely you are to get hired.
Know your weaknesses in addition to your strengths. Everyone has weaknesses. The question is how you plan to address them. It is important to demonstrate that you have the self-awareness to identify opportunities to improve.
Be prepared to share why you feel this role is a great opportunity. I always want to know what is in it for the candidate. What are the skills and relationships that will you develop in this role that will help you get to the next step in your career?
Interested in joining our Inside Sales teams in Austin Tx? Check out our open roles at every level here.
Learn more about who we are at VMware and follow our social channels below: